I went in to see what our local feed store had to offer in the way of stock tanks and they didn’t have anything the right size in stock . . . kinda surprising as this place is usually johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to agricultural goodies. They’ll have to order what I need and it will take two weeks to get here . . . unless I go somewhere else for my needs . . . <wince>. These are the guys I like dealing with and supporting.
So I have decisions to make. 4 or 6′ tank? I can make a trailer for a 6′ tank. I have a drop axle currently attached to a very light duty trailer frame (no hitch or deck). The trailer frame is very airy and totally unabled to supporting a 6′ tank of slurry. I can use the axle and weld together a frame that will support a 6′ tank with a hitch to connect to the drawbar on the tractor. This choice has some pluses. The 6′ tank will mix more slurry in a batch, so we can get more done. The downside . . . if the pump fails and we have to bucket this into the wall forms . . . <shudder>. And I would have to do some pretty funky stuff to get the PTO connected to the gearbox.
Or, I can use the Datsun pickup bed trailer we used for hauling water as our frame with a 4′ tank. Sure, the batches will be smaller, but how long does it take to mix a batch of slurry when you don’t have to move the mixer? Not that long. And if the pump fails, bucketing 140 gallons of slurry is more appealing than bucketing 240 gallons. The PTO connection should be nearly a straight shot reducing wear and tear on the PTO shaft. A short piece of section 80 pipe, a couple grade 8 bolts a short section of round rod and a carrier bearing for the pipe or rod should suffice for the extra drive line portion. I’ve already got a suitable PTO shaft, it’s just a matter of collecting the bits to connect it to the gearbox. I may not need anything but the existing drive shaft but I won’t know until I get out my tape measure and do some measuring. Terry and I have mulled the choices and benefits and have determined a 4′ tank on the Datsun trailer frame is our best option. He may be nearly clueless regarding where I’m going, but he does provide good feedback.
In anticipation of using the Datsun trailer as the base for our slurry operations, Terry installed the 165 gallon water storage container, which normally resides in the Datsun trailer, in our old Dodge industrial van. This is a better solution for the water tank all ’round but now the very macho van boasts the appearance of a tit on top. The tank sticks out of the top of the van nearly a foot. Very amusing. The covering is to keep debris out of the tank until Terry can build a debris proof lid.
My brother gave us a non-functioning riding mower. It looks like a yellow bug, a very fashionable fair weather mower suitable for flat city lots. Terry removed the mower deck and the blade is the perfect blade for our mixer. I have been fussing about this part of the puzzle. If I used a push mower blade I would have to drill a bigger hole to accommodate the gearbox shaft bolt. This would weaken the blade at that point. This mower’s blade is sufficiently thick/wide/strong and already has the right sized hole.
We’ve had unseasonably wet weather, so the delay in having a functioning mixer is really not an issue. And the extra time spent in planning is proving to be a money saver.
Next task is removing the Datsun pickup truck bed from the trailer.